Morning Read: “Micro gut” replicates digestion, hosts flora

The journal Lab on a Chip reports that researchers have been able to recreate the environment of the gut on a microdevice, complete with digestive activity and flora. According to the abstract of the report, this device could “improve transport, absorption, and toxicity studies, and … have great value for drug testing as well as development of novel intestinal disease models.”

Arguments at the Supreme Court wrapped up yesterday and we have a round up of news and analysis as well as the best tweets about the day’s proceedings.

A study in the New England Journal of medicine shows that an experiment to pay hospitals based on quality measures had no effect on the death rate. Over seven years, the 252 hospitals participating in the Medicare Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration were measured on three-dozen performance metrics, including their mortality rates for heart attack and heart bypass surgery. The new report shows that the mortality rate at the participating hospitals was virtually the same as the mortality rate for the 3,363 hospitals that were not part of the project.


Three of the biggest threats to academic medical centers include increasing political pressures, low quality rankings and antiquated structures. Considering that the average AMC operating revenue is 5 percent, these threats could cut that number to zero for many AMCs.

App developers need to think beyond the already-fit crowd to reach the larger part of the population dealing with chronic health conditions. Mobihealthnews discusses research that shows health app use has plateaued at 10% of smart phone users and the need for diversity among people building health apps.

 [Image from RSC Publishing]

Veronica Combs

I was the editor in chief at I started writing and editing in the print world and joined a dotcom right before the 2000 crash. I was at TechRepublic/CNET/BNET for 7 years. Health was more interesting to me than the latest version of Windows, so I left for a startup tracking prescription drug news. A year later, MedTrackAlert was acquired by HealthCentral, so I shifted to audience research. The fun of daily news and interviewing smart people brought me to MedCity News in February 2012. More posts by Author

No comments